The Mess-Free Way To Seal Lumpia

Lumpia is a type of spring roll, typically eaten as an appetizer. The dish originated in China, but its popularity has spread throughout Southeast Asia, particularly in the Philippines and Indonesia. It is now one of the most common Filipino foods served during holidays or celebrations, according to Manila Spoon.

The contents of the lumpia can range from meat and veggies to bananas and brown sugar. There are so many lumpia recipes, it would be hard to try every combination of ingredients. Most commonly, it contains meat and shredded veggies. Pork, chicken, and beef are popular meats, and carrots, cabbage, and onions are popular veggies used. But, depending on the country, it can also be filled with bean sprouts, plantain, shrimp, and more, via Delighted Cooking, and it's usually served with a sweet and sour dipping sauce. The wrapper is a thin crepe-like dough that crisps up perfectly, and lumpia can be deep-fried, pan-fried, or eaten fresh.

Usually, sealing the lumpia wrapper is done with egg wash. But, one food blogger uses another common ingredient: bananas.

The banana method

You may want to think twice before you throw out the bottom of your banana. Many people chop off the end of their bananas, and while we can't blame you entirely, this bit can be useful for a few things, including the sealing of lumpia rolls.

Popular Taiwanese-American food blogger Joy Huang posted a video on Instagram for sealing a lumpia. Crediting Lara Lee for the tip, she demonstrated the method in a short video — and it's a very simple technique to use. Once the lumpia is almost fully rolled up, it is ready to be sealed. Running the banana along the edges creates a sticky seal. According to Huang, she enjoys using this hack because "it leaves [her] hands cleaner than if [she] used egg wash."

With commenters likening it to a natural glue stick, this video had mixed reactions. Some worried that the banana flavor would be too strong, but Huang assures that the banana flavor is rarely noticed and it is subtle if it is. And, if you happen to be making banana lumpia or another dessert lumpia, it is the perfect method.

Another method shared by Indonesian Cooking 101 is equally simple: They advise home cooks to combine 4 teaspoons of water with 1 tablespoon of flour for an "inexpensive and effective" way to seal your lumpia.

Repurposing typically wasted food products is always smart, and can often make meal prep that much easier.